On the 12th of May a massacre was committed in the town of al-Zara in the southern contryside of Hama, Syria. Woman and children were slaughtered by Takfiri death squads branded by the Western media as ‘moderate rebels’. There was no mention of the massacre in the Western press. There was no need to mention it because it was of no use to them. Often, the Western-backed terrorists film their massacres or post pictures of the dead children on social media. These pictures are then displayed across all the front pages of corporate newspapers and flashed across television screens. People’s emotions are aroused.
Western governments rant and rave about the necessity of military intervention to ‘stop the massacres.’ This time there was silence. There is no benefit to the perpetrators of neocolonial warfare and genocide in admitting that the terrorist is NATO – that it is actually the Syrian Arab Army that is fighting terrorism and not the Western military alliance. If the masses knew this, there would be a revolution and the perpetrators of war would become its casualties.
The fact that no moderate rebels exist in Syria has been admitted by the U.S. Government on several occasions. Vice-president Joe Biden has admitted it, the Pentagon’s General Dempsey has admitted it, Tulsi Gabbard of the US Armed Services Committee has admitted it, and the Defense Intelligence Agency has admitted it. Western corporate media agencies have themselves admitted that the West is supporting al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria in an attempt to overthrow President Assad, yet, perversely, the same media systematically re-brand barbaric head-choppers and child murderers as ‘moderate rebels’, when their heinous crimes are propitious to Western foreign policy objectives.
Due to mass media saturation in the West most people believe they are well-informed about what is happening in the world. They regularly see news stories about other governments committing atrocities against their own people and hear sober press conference condemnations from Western leaders and government officials.
Massacres allegedly committed by the enemies of the West regularly make front page headlines which arouse an outpouring of sympathy and indignation that such atrocities could be committed while the ‘ international community’ stands watching. The obsequiousness and docility of the Western public enables those who own the means of production, education and communication, that is to say the Power Elite, to use war as a means of furthering their interests. They re-brand the supreme crime as ‘humanitarian intervention’ and well-intentioned citizens of the West not only accept it but often demand that the humanitarian war is carried out- such is the power of the tableau limned by corporate media professionals for general consumption.
Educational and mass media indoctrination about the benevolence of Euro-Atlantic global governance renders many incapable of perceiving the world in any other way; it is a form of instituted intellectual myopia deeply resistant to correction.
Western ‘civilisation’ has become so decadent, the masses so dumbed down, so passive and apathetic, so hopelessly addicted to simplistic sound bites and spectacles that it possible for those who keep them in such torpor to occasionally reveal the truth about Western complicity in crimes against humanity, then simply resume the tragic-comical narrative of Western benevolence. Repetition of falsity always triumphs over elucidation of truth. The society of the spectacle only sees what it is told to see. Our crimes are transposed and boldly displayed in a virtual gallery as the crimes of others.
In his painting ‘The Massacre of the Innocents’ (1625) French painter Nicolas Poussin depicts the slaughter of infants by the soldiers of the Jewish King Herod – a famous biblical episode. Herod was attempting to kill the infant Christ who, he had been told, would unseat him as ‘king of the Jews’. The mass media representation of the invasion and destruction of Syria by NATO mercenaries could be imagined as a mediocre post-modern rendition of Poussin’s tableau. In this case, the Syrian Arab Army play the role of Herod’s soldiers massacring the innocent. But the reality of this war is entirely the reverse: thousands of Assad’s soldiers have given their lives to protect the nation’s children, not harm them.
The real Herod in this war is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. For this is and always has been a war waged by the Jewish state against the final bastion of anti-Zionist resistance in the Middle East. It is being carried out in accordance with the Yinon Plan, which advocates the destruction of all states hostile to Israeli regional and global hegemony.
Poussin’s painting dramatises the cruelty of imperial despotism, of an era replete with evil. The French painter lived through a period, in many respects, similar to our own. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) had completely devastated Europe. Pablo Picasso used Poussin’s ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ for his famous painting Guernica, which depicts the brutality of the German bombing of Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Few painters today, with the notable exception of Caoimhghin O Croidheain, have anything to say about the crimes of the ruling elite. The massacre of al-Zara will not be transformed into great art.
In 1648 France was about to erupt in civil war – a situation not entirely unlike the present. In a letter Poussin described the moral turpitude of his time. His words eerily epitomise our current condition:
I fear the malignancy of the century. Virtue, conscience, religion are banished from all men. Only vice, deceit and self-interest reign. All is lost – I despair of goodness – all is overcome by unhappiness. The current remedies are not strong enough to remove the evil. If we do not get rid of the cause, we are wasting our time.
Gearóid Ó Colmáin is an Irish journalist and political analyst based in Paris. His work focuses on globalisation, geopolitics and class struggle.